Oral cancer claims one life every six hours in India

Oral cancer claims one life every six hours in India

One person dies every six hours due to oral cancer in the country, signalling an alarming rise in the incidence of the disease, according to a top orthodontist.

The situation could be still graver as many cases of the disease went unreported, Secretary-General of the Indian Dental Association Dr Ashok Dhoble told PTI from Mumbai.

“Cases of the disease and deaths resulting from it in rural areas and among the poorer sections of society are hardly registered,” he noted.

He pointed out that with the high prevalence of smokers and widespread use of other chewable tobacco products, India has seen a steep growth in the number of oral cancer patients in the past decade.

In fact, Dr Dhoble said, oral cancer approximated to 40 per cent of all cancer-related disease in the country with the Northeastern states mostly affected.

“All Northeastern states are badly affected by the disease. The states like West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are also affected,” he said, adding every third person in these states used tobacco-related products.

Talking about measures to curb the prevalence of the deadly disease, he said that nothing short of a total ban on the use of tobacco was the only way.

“There is no other way to curb oral cancer… You have to ban tobacco in its every form,” Dr Dhoble said, pointing out that it was the nicotine present in the tobacco which made it addictive and difficult to kick the habit.

“Our government also understands the problem… But the huge number of people employed with the tobacco industry is the problem… The government has to provide them with an alternative livelihood and then ban tobacco totally,” he said.

He said a dentist was the first person to diagnose it since oral cancer was not just limited to teeth, but mouth, tongue and integral part of pharynx and gums as well.

The orthodontist explained that oral cancer was 100 per cent curable only if it was reported in the first stage. But once it slips into the second stage, the patient is left with a life span of just five years.

“I will advise people to visit a dentist and not to ignore even if there is a slight problem in the mouth… But above all they have to give up using tobacco in every form. That’s the best medicine,” Dr Dhoble said Stressing the need to educate people on the disease, he said that the Indian Dental Association, which will hold the FDI Annual World Dental Congress in Delhi in September, had been conducting awareness camps and counselling people for the last five years.

Source; hindustan times

E-cigarettes next big smoking poison, warns study

The fast spreading e-cigarettes are undoing the anti-smoking efforts of the last three decades, health experts warn.

Also, the number of people being poisoned by e-cigarettes in the US has gone up manifold in the last few years, according to official reports.

The number of calls to poison centres in the US relating to e-cigarettes has risen from one per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014.

The figures, from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also show the number of calls per month relating to conventional cigarettes did not increase in the same way.

The CDC statistics show that more than half of the calls relate to children under the age of five.

Poisoning related to e-cigarettes involves the liquid containing nicotine used in the devices.

“This report raises another red flag about e-cigarettes — the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes can be hazardous,” CDC director Tom Frieden said in a statement.

E-cigarette liquids come in candy and fruit flavours that are appealing to children.

“The most recent National Youth Tobacco Survey showed e-cigarette use is growing fast, and now this report shows e-cigarette related poisonings are also increasing rapidly,” Tim McAfee, director of CDC’s office on smoking and health, was quoted as saying.

The study comes close on the heels of news that the Welsh government might include e-cigarettes under the smoking ban.

Source: daily news and analysis

The weed that causes cancer may well kill it


Tobacco has been associated with and much maligned for causing cancers. Researchers have now found that the tobacco plant’s defence mechanism could well work in humans to destroy invading cancer cells.

A molecule called NaD1 is found in the flower of the tobacco plant that fights off fungi and bacteria. This compound also has the ability to identify and destroy cancer, the team discovered.

“This is a welcome discovery whatever the origin,” Mark Hulett from La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science in Melbourne was quoted as saying.

The molecule, found in nicotiana sylvestris (flowering tobacco) plant, forms a pincer-like structure that grips onto lipids present in the membrane of cancer cells.

It then effectively rips them open, causing the cell to expel its contents and explode.

According to researchers, this universal defence process could also potentially be harnessed for the development of antibiotic treatment for microbial infections.

The pre-clinical work is being conducted by the Melbourne biotechnology company Hexima. “The preliminary trials have looked promising,” said Hulett.

The study was published in the journal eLife.

Source: Times of India

WHO’s Anti-Smoking Guidelines Save 13 Million In China

Anti-smoking campaigns have proven effective in some parts of the United States, but what effect could they have on a country ranked third among the number of active smokers? Guidelines implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO) could prevent up to 13 million smoking-related deaths in China by 2050 and could reduce the number of smokers by more than 40 percent.

According to the WHO, half of all smokers will die as a result of tobacco use including upward of six million people each year. Out of the global impact of smoking-related fatalities, 600,000 have been attributed to non-smokers who were exposed to second-hand smoke. Approximately, 80 percent of the estimated one billion smokers around the world live in low- and middle- income countries. Countries who have implemented bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship have decreased tobacco consumption by seven percent in some countries and 17 percent in others.

Researchers from Spain, France, and the U.S. estimated the potential health impact of the WHO’s proposal using the SimSmoke Tobacco Control Policy model, an international record of smoking prevalence and smoking-related deaths. Researchers said, in a press release, implementing the guidelines set forth by the WHO “would lead to as much as a 34% relative reduction in male smoking prevalence by 2020, and a 41% reduction by 2050.” If the WHO guidelines are ignored, China can expect an additional 50 million smoking-related deaths between 2015 and 2050.

Following the application of smoke-free air laws and tobacco marketing bans have showed “potent and immediate” effects in other countries. Implementing smoke-free air laws in China could reduce smoking rates by nine percent in 2015. Furthermore, increasing increase taxes by 75 percent could also reduce the number of smokers by 10 percent of both males and females by 2015. By 2015, the number of smoking-related deaths was expected at 932,000 men and 79,000 women.

When 2050 finally rolls around, the research team expects the number of female smokers in China to reduce by 12 percent and male smokers by 13 percent. Between 2015 and 2050, researchers expect that WHO guidelines will save 3.5 million lives. A complete ban on tobacco marketing could help reduce smoking by four percent in China. The research team was also confident that “without the implementation of the complete set of stronger policies, the death and disability legacy of current smoking will endure for decades in China.”

When 2050 finally rolls around, the research team expects the number of female smokers in China to reduce by 12 percent and male smokers by 13 percent. Between 2015 and 2050, researchers expect that increasing tobacco sales will save 3.5 million lives. Combine that with smoke-free air campaigns and China could see a reduction in 13 million deaths by the year 2050. A complete ban on tobacco marketing could help reduce smoking by four percent in China. The research team was also confident that “without the implementation of the complete set of stronger policies, the death and disability legacy of current smoking will endure for decades in China.”

Source: Medical Daily

35 percent Indians use tobacco despite ad ban

Thirty-five percent of Indians still use tobacco despite growing awareness and ban on tobacco product advertisement said a tobacco control policy report released Friday.

The report also highlighted the need for stronger tobacco control policies and a change in the current prices of tobacco products in India to create social environments that are supportive of quitting.

“Current regulations on tobacco advertising in India still allows for exemptions which created loopholes for tobacco industries to focus its marketing efforts in unregulated venues such as point of sale. There is thus an urgent need for Indian central and state governments to take strong measures to close loopholes and to act swiftly to reduce affordability of all tobacco products,” said S. Pednekar, director (development and research), Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health.

The Tobacco Control Policy Report is a collaborative effort of researchers at the Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health and the University of Waterloo, Canada and based on the result of survey of adult tobacco users and non-users.

“Tobacco use accounts for nearly half of all cancers among males and a one-quarter of all cancers among females and is also a major cause of cardiovascular and respiratory disease. Educating the users about the health hazards of tobacco use and effective pictorial warnings on tobacco products can help people to quit and may also dissuade others from embracing this deadly habit,” said Surendra S. Shastri of Tata Memorial Hospital.

Source: Business Standard


Chinese Meditation helps to avoid tobacco by prevent 60%

Smokers can cut down on their tobacco use by using a type of meditation

Smokers can cut down on their tobacco use by using a type of meditation developed in China, a new study suggests.

The Texas Tech University and the University of Oregon study, which looked at the effect of the mindfulness meditation known as Integrative Body-Mind Training (IBMT) on the pathways in the brain related to addiction and self-control, discovered that by practicing the meditation exercise, smokers curtailed their habit by 60 percent.
The control group that received a relaxation regimen instead showed no reduction in their smoking.

“We found that participants who received IBMT training also experienced a significant decrease in their craving for cigarettes,” Yi-Yuan Tang, a co-author and director of Texas Tech`s Neuro imaging Institute, said.
“Because mindfulness meditation promotes personal control and has been shown to positively affect attention and openness to internal and external experiences, we believe that meditation may be helpful for coping with symptoms of addiction,” the researcher said.

IBMT, which involves whole-body relaxation, mental imagery and mindfulness training led by a qualified coach, has long been practiced in China.

It differs from other forms of meditation because it depends heavily on the inducement of a high degree of awareness and balance of the body, mind and environment.

The meditation state is facilitated through training and trainer-group dynamics, harmony and resonance.

Tang has studied the meditation practice for its potential impacts on a variety of stresses and related changes in the brain, including function and structure.

The findings are published in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: http://zeenews.india.com/ayurveda/chinese-meditation-helps-cut-tobacco-intake-by-60_1417.html